The health and wellbeing of our children is more important than the traditions of contact sport, like rugby
In 2011, Benjamin Robinson died as a result of multiple traumatic brain injuries sustained while playing rugby union for his school in Northern Ireland. Contact sports such as rugby union have a higher risk of injury than other team and non-team sports, particularly those injuries to the head and brain. The damage is significant. Did you know, one concussion before the age of 26 can have a significant effect on a persons life chances. This is an increased chance of claiming disability pension, psychiatric inpatient admissions or outpatient visits, premature mortality, low educational achievement and receipt of state welfare payments.
The recent Will Smith movie Concussion explains the story of Neuropathologist Dr Bennett Omalu who discovered a unique brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, in deceased American Football Player Mike Webster. The continual, repetitive and subconcussive head impacts players continually receive are the most prominent risk factor for CTE. Children are not immune, with the head impacts sustained by 11-year-old rugby league players being of a similar strength to those of college Amercian Football players.
Worried about these issues, the Sport Collision Injury Collective was formed as a multidisciplinary group of scholars in 2016 to call for contact to be removed from the sport and physical education within school environment.